So you’ve found the perfect place for yourself in Norcross. You’ve met with the realtors, you’ve worked things out with the bank, and now all you have to do is pack up and take possession of your new home.
However, there’s just one problem.
Now that you think about it, you’re not sure how Rover or Fluffy will handle the move. Your pet loves your old place and hates major changes.
If you need to move your pets to a new home and you need some helpful advice for helping them adjust, then you’ll definitely want to keep reading.
Before the Trip
1. Start Any Necessary Training Early
When your pet is already house-trained and car-trained, this might seem like a detail you can breeze through. But depending on the distance and the differences between your current place and your new place, the things your pet is used to doing could be a problem in the new house.
To name a couple of examples, you could be moving from an apartment to a house and planning to have designated pet-free zones, or maybe your pets aren’t accustomed to spending extended time in crates. Plus, Gwinnett County has a number of rules and ordinances concerning the restraint and care of dogs that some pets might not necessarily be used to but that Norcross residents are nonetheless expected to adhere to.
Setting behavioral goals and training your pet well before moving day will make both the travel and the settling in aspects of the move easier for everybody.
2. Find a Vet Before You Move
Although we all want our pets to be happy and healthy forever, sadly, you never know when a nasty flu or an accident can occur. When your cat or dog is already injured or ill and you’re in a new place, that is not the time to be frantically Googling while hoping to find a reputable vet in your area.
If you can get a referral from your current vet, that’s fantastic. At the same time, however, reading meeting and establishing some personal rapport with a local vet while you’re doing the rounds at the new place can work wonders as well. The important thing here is just recognizing that it’s important to be prepared and to have those resources immediately available to you just in case the unthinkable happens.
Immediately After Moving: Providing Stability
1. Keep the Same Schedule
If you have a cat or a dog, chances are you have a somewhat established routine at home that you and your pet are used to. Maybe you walk your dog every day right after you get home from work, or you fill the water and food bowls at certain times. Keeping the same routine for your pet can go a long way towards easing any insecurities he or she may be feeling because of the move.
2. Bring Your Pet’s Favorites Items
Whether it’s a special chew toy, a favored scratching post, a rubber toy you bought somewhere at a garage sale, or something else, chances are your pet has a few well-worn favorites that he or she just doesn’t like being without. Although when moving to a new place, a lot of people take a “new place, new stuff” approach to toys and regular items, pets often feel better and more confident in a new environment if they have access to their favorite toys and playthings.
3. Try to Re-Create Their Old Spaces
This one starts by taking a look at the parts of your old house that your pet spends a lot of time in. Does your cat have a special area to sleep in? Is your dog’s feeding or play area set up a certain way? Another way to help pets adjust to the new place is to arrange items as similarly to the old setup as possible. This added element of familiarity assures your pet that they’ll be able to find their way around more easily.
Pro Tip: If you can use items that smell like the old place, that’s even better for your pet’s transition.
1. Stay Calm
Between the boxes, the furniture, the item inventory, and the traveling, moving is often pretty stressful. Even so, research has shown that dogs, in particular, often take their emotional cues from their owners. So if they sense that you’re exceedingly anxious or upset in the midst of sudden changes, chances are that they will begin feeling more insecure and anxious in response. On the other hand, if you’re confident and relaxed, your pets will get the message from you that they have nothing to be afraid of.
2. Make The New Place Fun
Sometimes all your pets need is an excuse to explore their new environment in an entertaining way. Fun activities like finding hidden treats in different parts of the house or getting toys that give out food go a long way towards showing your pet that your new place is fun, safe, and exciting. Brain games for pets also have the added advantage of giving your pets more activities to do while you finish up the last of the unpacking.
3. Explore the New Neighborhood With Your Pet
A good way to get your pets used to your new location is by taking walks and gradually letting them see and experience the different parts of your neighborhood. For dogs especially, you don’t necessarily want to do this all at once. There are a lot of people and sounds around that your pet may not be used to. But with increased exposure, your cat or dog will begin to adjust to the new environment sooner rather than later. This in turn will encourage your pet to become more comfortable with the new place.
For a pet that has grown accustomed to thinking of one place as home, acclimating to a new house can be a time-consuming process. While there is no way to guarantee that your dog or cat will fall in love with the new house immediately, with preparation, a strategy that involves bringing familiar items and arrangements, making exploration fun but not overwhelming, and keeping your cool, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your pet gets used to the new house.